Directions for use: Full implementation of Twona NeXT Artwork Management System is recommended for all stakeholders in your organization.
For optimal results, it is recommended that you fully implement Twona NeXT as your Artwork Management System. This means integrating Twona NeXT into all your processes, training all stakeholders in its use, and utilizing its features to streamline and optimize your artwork management processes.
Risks of not using Twona NeXT
Continuing to work in the traditional way can result in sub-optimal processes, prolonged time-to-market, excessive working hours, messy file folders, untraceable processes, non-compliant systems, and a lack of preparedness for external audits. These risks can lead to decreased efficiency, reduced productivity, and increased risk for your organization.
Failing to implement a digital Artwork Management System such as Twona NeXT can result in a lack of visibility and control over your artwork management processes, leading to decreased efficiency and increased risk. By fully integrating Twona NeXT into your organization, you can streamline and optimize your processes, improve collaboration, and ensure compliance.
It is important to carefully follow the recommended dosage and to fully integrate Twona NeXT into your organization for optimal results. If you have any questions or concerns about the use of Twona NeXT, please consult with your Artwork Management System specialist.
Once upon a time, there was a team of designers who were in charge of creating the packaging materials for a pharmaceutical company. The process was complicated, since there were many stakeholders: The Clan of the CMOs, the Tribe of the Printheads, The Marketing Lords and Orcs of Qualitiland. They followed the same old routine when it came to creating the artworks: they’d first create the design, then implement the text and finally submit it back to the King of Regulatory for proofreading to make sure everything was perfect.
However, things weren’t always perfect. There was no forever happy ending. The designers often (this is an understatement, for this happened every single day of their miserable lives) found themselves having to redo their work. Not because they’d made mistakes creating the artworks….but because the text contained overlooked ghostly mistakes. They called it: The Doomed Text of Eternal Damnation. They’d always get the artwork back, after someone had spent time checking the text after they’d implemented it on the design, and sometimes they’d even have to start from scratch because the mistakes were so big. It was a huge waste of time and resources, and it was holding up the entire process. They felt desperate.
One day, the great Process Improvement King, saw the tears of the Design team and decided enough was enough. He told them they needed to make a change, so they started thinking about how they could improve their workflow. They realized that if they asked the King of Regulatory to checked the text before they even submitted it to the design team, they could avoid a lot of these mistakes and save a lot of time. So, they decided to move the text proofing from the end of the workflow to the beginning. They decided to stand for themselves, mouse and keyboard in hand, and fight for their freedom.
After a long and gruesome battle, they won. Shortly after, the results were amazing. By checking the text before it was implemented on the design, the team reduced the number of iterations needed to get the design approved. They also reduced the total time spent by the design team, which meant they could get the packaging to market faster and had more capacity to handle more jobs. They felt superpowered.
It was a simple change, but it made a huge difference. No more tears, no more late Friday submissions, no more pain. The team was so happy they’d found a solution to their problem, and they couldn’t believe they hadn’t thought of it sooner. From then on, the Regulatory Kind checked the text before submitting it to the design team, and they never had any more problems with their artworks.
Electrical goods often come with warranties and usage instructions in multiple languages. You know what I’m talking about, the multiple booklets of instructions in 10 different languages or the warranty document to complete and return by post! (remember postage stamps anyone?!), that often fall straight into the recycling bin.
But, there are valid and important reasons for having these. One, being the safety of the consumer and their new product, or information on how to put your new piece of furniture together; but also, one SKU with as many languages included as possible, means a reduction in the overall number of SKUs in production. The more languages you can include, the more countries you can sell that same product in.
So, how do you go about making these important and (sometimes) required pieces of information available while considering packaging reduction and carbon footprint for example? How to squeeze 10 languages on less paper? Do we really need to print out 5 different warranty cards?
A picture is worth 1000 words: Pictures are a universal language and can help convey information without the need for words. This is particularly useful for showing how to use a product or for highlighting specific parts of the product. For example, IKEA provides assembly instructions for their furniture with clear and concise illustrations and no words.
Words: Words are necessary for more detailed instructions and for legal information such as warranties and safety warnings. They also allow for specific language nuances and cultural references that may not be conveyed through pictures alone. Samsung provides detailed instructions in multiple languages for their products, including safety warnings, to ensure that customers fully understand the products they purchase.
Pictures: Using pictures can make the information easier to understand and remember, especially for customers who are not fluent in the language in which the instructions are written. It also saves space, making it easier to include multiple languages in the single document. Apple Inc. uses pictures and diagrams to explain the functions of their products in multiple languages, making the same information accessible to a wide range of customers.
Environmental Impact: Printing documents in multiple languages can have a significant environmental impact, particularly if they are rarely read and often thrown away. Consider providing instructions and warranties in electronic format (online) where possible, to reduce waste. This aligns with companies’ efforts to reduce their carbon footprint and meet overall packaging reduction targets. For instance, Tesla provides electronic versions of their warranties and usage instructions, reducing the amount of paper waste generated by their products.
In conclusion, handling multiple languages in FMCG warranties and usage instructions requires careful consideration of the most effective way to convey information. A combination of pictures and words can be an effective solution, while also reducing the environmental impact of printing (less paper required) or by providing electronic versions where possible. This supports companies’ efforts to reduce their carbon footprint and meet overall packaging reduction targets.
What are you doing to reduce the amount of packaging and unread booklets in your product?
Working in the pharmaceutical industry, the creation of packaging designs can be a challenging and complex process, especially when dealing with multiple Contract Manufacturing Organizations (CMOs) and Printing companies. There are many factors that can impact the design, including regulatory requirements, branding, marketing, and of course, technical considerations. One of the biggest challenges that packaging designers face when working with multiple printing stakeholders (weather it is a CMO or a printer directly) is the varying technical requirements. Different companies have different machinery and different Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) (sometimes they don’t even have SOPs).
Oh man…this is hard.
The first challenge related to working with multiple printers is the differences in print and packing capabilities. Each printer may have different printing processes and equipment that they use. For example, one printer may use a rotogravure printing process while another may use flexographic printing. This can result in differences in color accuracy, registration, and overall quality of the final print. Additionally, some printers may not be able to accommodate certain design elements, such as holographic foils or raised printing, which can impact the design and the overall look of the packaging. Additionally, and more specifically for the packaging industry, the printed materials are going to be the input of a packing machine which is going to fold, fill, glue and whatnot in an automated machine. This process is critical since failure can have a high cost impact. Most “reasonable” printing companies and CMOs provide technical specifications to their design agencies (or their clients) so the design materials can be created to specs.
The second challenge is the complex technical documentation that designers must understand in order to create compliant designs. Technical documentation often includes specifications on dielines, varnish free areas, margins, folding lines, visual marks used for automated packing and many more. Understanding these guidelines and ensuring that the design meets them can be a time-consuming and confusing process, particularly for designers who are not familiar with the specific requirements of each printer and considering some of these technical specification documents can be 40 page long. If you are dealing with 10 suppliers, times 40 is a 400 page documentation. That is not easy to manage. This can result in mistakes and miscommunications between the design team and the printer, which can ultimately impact the time to market.
What can we do to fix this?
There are ways to improve the process when technical specification documentation is complex and there are many different suppliers:
Write and maintain proper design manuals specifically for each printer/CMO. This will help ensure that the design team has all of the information they need to create designs that are compatible with each printer’s technical requirements. This can also help avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications between the design team and the printer. Additionally, it will be required should you have to face a customer audit.
Perform training of the design team on all technical requirements. This will help ensure that the design team is aware of the specific requirements of each printer and can create designs that are compatible with those requirements. Furthermore, it will help designers find and interpret information faster and accurately.
Allow a direct line of communication with the printer instead of via the client. A direct line of communication can help avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications that may occur when the design team is communicating through the client. Let the technical people speak to technical people directly, otherwise you will face the broken phone syndrome.
The creation of packaging designs can be challenging, especially when working with multiple CMOs and printers. The varying technical requirements of each printer and the long and complex technical documentation can be a pain in the arse to deal with and a high risk factor. But don’t despair, by following these three tips – writing and maintaining proper design manuals, performing training on technical requirements, and allowing a direct line of communication with the printer – designers can improve the process and ensure that the final product meets all of the necessary requirements.
Design briefs are essential for creative projects as they help set clear expectations and define the scope of work. However, working with a design brief that has missing (or useless) information such as low-quality images can be a significant challenge. Below you will find the key challenges faced when working with an incomplete design brief and obtain tips on how to create a clear and comprehensive brief.
You must read this if you are a customer
Every designer in the world
The classical challenges
One of the major challenges of working with a design brief that has missing information is the lack of clear guidelines. This often leads to confusion and misinterpretation, resulting in a final product that does not meet the client’s expectations. For example, if the brief does not include all the reference files or text documents, the designer may struggle to understand the client’s request and produce an artwork that is not in line with their requirements.
Another common mistake is the use of low-quality (or low-resolution) images. When the final design needs to be printed, such as packaging materials for like…..everything that is sold, the images provided to the design team need to have sufficient resolution for the required printing size and method (SPOT and Digital Printing can be different). This not only affects the quality of the final product but also the reputation of the designer and the company they work for. Although, in all likelihood, your designer will probably have to reject the job and ask for better images.
5 things you need to do as a customer
It is of the outmost importance to create a clear and comprehensive design brief that includes all relevant information. Here are five tips to help make the brief clear:
Include clear brief information: The brief should include a clear and concise description of the project’s goals, technical specifications and in general the desired outcome. This will help the designer understand the client’s vision and ensure that they are on the same page. Do not make it more difficult that it needs to be….more is not always better.
Add up-to-scale dielines: Dielines are essential for product design, as they provide a template for the designer to follow when creating the final product. This is particularly critical for packaging materials since it will most likely be the input of a packaging machine when mistakes can be very costly. By including up-to-scale, clean and usable dielines in the brief, the designer can ensure that the final product will meet the client’s technical specifications. If you think a blurry scan of a dieline is good enough…..think again.
Include all text documents: The brief should include all text documents that are relevant to the project, such as product descriptions, marketing materials, regulatory texts, and any other content that will be used in the final product. The designers cannot read your mind, they cannot possibly know all the details of the regulatory bodies of the many countries where you are releasing and have no insight on your company’s strategies. Don’t make it difficult, make it nice. If a text needs to be included, please add a readable document that can be copy-pasted (designers do not type).
Add clear and precise annotations: Sometimes the best way to convey an idea is by annotating an existing document indicating any specific requirements or requests that the client has. Be like water, be clear.
Include all relevant references of essential information: The brief should include references to any essential information that the client feels is important, such as brand guidelines or examples of similar products. If it takes time to find those documents, better do it before hand.
Working with an incomplete design brief can be a significant challenge for designers, but with the right tools and tips, it can be overcome. Remember, too much information is just as bad as too little information, so be sure to strike the right balance and keep the brief concise, yet comprehensive. And always remember, a good design brief is like a GPS – it helps you reach your destination with ease!
The use of barcodes has become ubiquitous in the pharmaceutical industry, providing a crucial means of identification and tracking for products in the supply chain. Accurate creation of barcodes is essential to ensure reliable digital reading and to prevent failures that can cause significant disruptions and potentially pose risks to patients, not to mention the costly and feared product recall. In this article, we will explore the importance of creating barcodes accurately and explain why the size of the barcode and the color used in the design are crucial factors to consider. We will also provide two tips to help ensure that barcodes are created correctly for packaging design.
Poorly printed or sized barcodes can cause digital readers to fail, leading to incorrect identification of products, misdirected deliveries, and even recalls. This does not only pose a danger for the patient but also a significant risk for the brand in terms of reputation and costs.
The size matters
One of the key factors to consider when creating barcodes is the size of the code. The size of the barcode needs to be large enough to be easily read by digital readers, but also small enough to fit on the limited space available on the packaging. The size of the barcode must also be consistent across all packaging to ensure reliable digital reading and to prevent confusion. However, the most important aspect of barcode sizing is following the regulated standards for the selected barcode. Some barcode types allow for more flexibility in terms for size and color while others (like the Pharmacode) are very strict in their technical specifications.
Pharmaceutical Binary Code – The Pharmacode
The pharmaceutical binary code, commonly known as the pharmacode, was first introduced in the 1970s as a means of providing a fast and efficient way to identify and track products in the supply chain. The barcode system was originally based on the Universal Product Code (UPC) developed by the grocery industry. The pharmaceutical barcode, also known as the GS1 barcode, was developed to meet the specific requirements of the pharmaceutical industry and is based on international standards established by the Global Standards One (GS1) organization. The technical specifications of the pharmaceutical barcode include a specific number of digits, with the first three digits identifying the company that manufactured the product, the next two digits identifying the product, and the last digit used as a check digit for error detection. The barcode is also required to meet certain size and printing quality standards to ensure reliable digital reading.
You should NEVER resize the width of a pharmacode.
Rafael Cruz, Studio Manager
Color also matters
The color used to create the barcode is also an important factor to consider. Barcodes must be printed in high contrast colors to ensure that they are easily readable by digital readers. The color of the background and the barcode must be carefully chosen to ensure that the barcode is clearly visible and easily distinguishable from the background. The use of low contrast colors, such as light blue on white, can make barcodes difficult to read and can cause digital readers to fail.
2 Tips to help you out
To ensure that barcodes are created accurately, there are two important tips to keep in mind. Firstly, it is crucial to use high-quality printing materials and equipment to create the barcodes. This will ensure that the barcodes are clearly visible and easily readable, and will help prevent digital reading failures. Secondly, it is important to regularly test the barcodes to ensure that they are accurately readable by digital readers. This can be done by using a barcode scanner to test the barcodes and to confirm that they are being accurately read.
In summary, to ensure accurate barcode creation for pharmaceutical packaging design, it’s crucial to:
Consider the size of the barcode to ensure it is easily readable by digital readers and fits the packaging space
Choose high-contrast colors for printing to improve barcode visibility and readability
Use high-quality printing materials and equipment
Regularly test barcodes for accurate digital reading with a barcode scanner
Creating and managing packaging materials for the food industry can be a complex and challenging task, especially when the products are going to be commercialised in many countries. Two of the main challenges include compliance with regulations and cultural differences. Not to mention the complexity in managing multiple packaging materials in the factory.
Compliance with regulations is a major challenge when creating and managing packaging materials for the food industry. Different countries have different regulations regarding food packaging, including labelling requirements, food safety standards, and environmental regulations. This can make it difficult for companies to create packaging that meets the requirements of all the countries where their products will be sold. Additionally, these regulations are constantly evolving and companies need to stay up-to-date with the latest changes in order to remain compliant.
Cultural differences are another major challenge when creating and managing packaging materials for the food industry.
Different cultures have different tastes and preferences when it comes to food, and this can impact the design and messaging of the packaging. Companies need to take these cultural differences into account when creating packaging that will appeal to customers in different countries. For example, a packaging design that is popular in one country may not be well-received in another country due to cultural differences.
The multi-language setup also influences the complexity of creating and managing packaging materials for the food industry. Companies need to create packaging that includes translations of all the text, which can be a time-consuming and costly process. Additionally, the translations need to be accurate and culturally appropriate in order to avoid any misunderstandings or offence. Consistency in look, message and tone should also be considered when selling across borders.
How can you improve this?
One key advice to improve this process is to work with a professional translation agency that specialises in the food industry. These agencies have experience translating food packaging and can ensure that the translations are accurate, culturally appropriate, and compliant with regulations. Additionally, they can help companies stay up-to-date with the latest changes in regulations and cultural trends in different countries.
Another advice is to work with an agency or studio, or independent artwork designer, who is experienced in the production of multi-language packaging materials. These professionals would be able to create, edit, and review materials in different languages, as well as different alphabets before they reach your internal review teams.
Ideally, these two are working together or at least, are in contact, to speed the final delivery of correct packaging information and its formatted result for printing purposes.
And you, how do you manage your multilingual packaging projects?
Collecting feedback on packaging design from multiple stakeholders can be a frustrating and time-consuming process, especially when relying on traditional methods such as email. Not only does it require constant back-and-forth communication, but it also makes it difficult to keep track of comments and revisions from different parties. And let’s not talk about “you know who”, who always needs a few reminders to send the feedback and is almost always late.
One of the biggest challenges in this process is getting feedback from printers, regulatory bodies, marketing teams, contract manufacturers, and clients. Each of these groups has their own specific concerns and requirements that need to be addressed, and coordinating their input can be a logistical nightmare.
Printers will have concerns about the technical aspects of the design, such as file keylines or barcodes, while regulatory teams will need to ensure that the packaging complies with all relevant laws and standards and includes the approved text. Marketing teams will want to ensure that the design follows the “somewhat” strict brand guidelines, while contract manufacturers will need to ensure that the design is suitable for their machinery. And of course, if you are dealing with clients will have their own unique requirements and preferences.
All of these different perspectives and requirements can make the feedback process overwhelming, and it can be difficult to keep track of who has provided what feedback and what revisions have been made. This can lead to delays, miscommunication and increased costs. And….yeah, I won’t mention the fearful recall.
Thankfully, there is a solution to this problem: an approval management system such as the one provided by Twona. This system streamlines the feedback process by providing a central platform for all stakeholders (also external stakeholders to your organization) to collaborate and provide feedback on the design. It eliminates the need for constant back-and-forth communication via email and makes it easy to keep track of comments and revisions (with very strict version control).
With Twona’s approval management system, all stakeholders can easily view the design and provide feedback in real-time. This speeds up the approval process and ensures that all comments and revisions are captured in one place. Additionally, the system allows for easy communication between stakeholders and makes it easy to see which feedback has been addressed and which still needs to be acted upon.
If you’re tired of the frustration and inefficiency of the traditional feedback process and wish you were on the beach instead of sending emails reminding people to do their jobs, contact our sales team today to schedule a demo of Twona’s approval management system. See for yourself how it can make a difference to your packaging design process and improve your bottom line.
These types of processes are now a thing of the past, and are being replaced by Artwork Management systems, and proofing tools that take change management to a totally new level.
The change has been enormous and more changes could be needed due to agreements between the European Medicines Agency (EMA) , management at Medicine agencies (HMA) and the European commission projects from 2018, aiming at a digital transformation in sanitary support in the European Union (see the draft here: EMA)
This transformation has implications that are beyond my knowledge, but some of the phases that it entails were:
March 2017 – report from the European Commission with an action plan for the EMA to identify areas susceptible of improvement to satisfy the needs of patients and professionals.
2018 – collaboration between EMA-HMA-EC identifying the needs for a future digitalization.
March 2017 – report from the European Commission with an action plan for the EMA to identify areas susceptible of improvement to satisfy the needs of patients and professionals.
28 november 2018 – EMA runs a workshop with patients/consumers, health professionals, interested parties in the industry, academics, NGOs and regulators. This returned the key principles of this process.
After reviewing these comments in relation to the key principles defined, a pilot program emerged in January 2022, aimed at evaluating the impact of the removal of the paper leaflets in a small portion of medicines for human use, within hospitals.
These medicines should include in their primary packaging a non serialised Data Matrix code that, once captured, would allow direct access to the digital version of the leaflet from the information allocated in CIMA.
The pilot duration will be at least 2 years, and it will be implemented progressively.
Would there really be a digitalization in health assistance in the European Union? I believe that after all the effort, this will become a reality. The only question is to what extent is the EU capable of coordinating for the big change of digital times.
Homogeneize/Standardize is the process to harmonize or confer homogeneity or unity to the elements of a set or an area. When it comes to our packaging, it has many other implications:
Identification & communication of attributes and visibility.
Item Distribution Strategy.
Increase in perceived value of the product.
With the term defined and considering the high strategic importance of standardizing our packaging, we are going to focus on how to deal with the production of (standardize) materials.
What is the best way to guarantee that our team of designers produce homogeneous materials?
Without a doubt, it is the use of templates. These templates, which are expected to be a shared resource, must be unique and protected to avoid changes and therefore generate unwanted deviations.
It is important to develop as many templates as types of products are in our portfolio. These types or groups of products have similar content, form and distribution:
Using a Folding Box as an example, our template must contain: logos and corporate identity signs, road safety or photosensitivity icon, recycling symbol(s), dosage chart and a long etcetera depending on the complexity of our design.
In order to complete our template, we are currently still missing a fundamental element. It is of vital importance to have a mockup in our template so that designers can use the elements that compose it when building new products.
Back to our example of a Folding Box. In our mock-up there will be a set of elements in the front face such as the name of the product/component in the correct corporate font, size and formatting that would help the designer create the final material. Very important is to make sure that these elements are not to be specific and refer to a real product/component. These should contain a generic text, such to avoid human errors by not replacing the correct text from the Medicines Agency.
For example: Molecule Brand 00 xx xxxxxxx xxxxxx EFG – all these in the correct font and sizes/styling.
Besides reducing risk of mistakes, another benefit of using templates is to exponentially speed up the design process. The template is expected to already solve many questions when starting producing a material: What font should I use? Where are the logos and icons? What were these products like that I haven’t worked on lately?…
To finish with our recommendations to standardize your designs with the use of templates, it is important to highlight that a template is subject to real and common cases. What does this mean? The template should be simplified as much as possible so that its use is agile and efficient, therefore, they should not include exceptions or extreme cases when creating the template.
Our template must encompass the common elements of at least 90% of our materials, as well as our guide or procedure for a material that you can see in a previous article: Facing a Rebranding without stress.